Hoosac Valley Rolls in State Tourney Opener

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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ADAMS, Mass. -- Alayna Shears went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, and the Hoosac Valley softball team Thursday beat Nashoba Tech and Mother Nature to advance in the Division 5 State Tournament.
Gracelyn Wright struck out three and allowed no earned runs in a 13-3 win at Russell Field that sends the Hurricanes into the Round of 32 on Monday at Taconic.
Hoosac Valley (9-12) won for the fourth time in five games after erasing a 2-0 deficit in the first inning.
And it walked off an inning early after a lightning bolt forced the umpires to call for a minimum half-hour delay to let the system clear out and the visitors opted not to put off their 2-1/2 hour drive home any longer.
Wright earned a complete-game, six-inning win in the circle after stranding seven runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the top of the sixth.
"She got down early, and she stayed focused," Hoosac Valley coach Mike Ameen said of Wright. "She's been pitching really well. She's been throwing strikes and giving us a chance to play defense behind her. And the team is stepping up and playing defense."
A couple of errant throws opened the door to Nashoba Tech's two-run first and its run in the third.
But those were the only two errors on the day for the Hurricanes. Hoosac got a pickoff at first base from senior catcher Danielle Glasier to end the third inning and a backpedaling grab of a flyball by shortstop Ella Bissaillon to leave the bases loaded in the sixth.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes' offense took over the game right away after Trinity Brackett's outfield assist from left ended the top of the first.
Bissaillon dropped a one-out single into right with a runner on base to start a four-run rally in the bottom of the first.
Izabela Tart drove in a run, and Shears drove in a pair with a single up the middle before Glasier's sacrifice fly gave the 'Canes a 4-2 lead.
The visitors got back within a run in the third before Hoosac Valley exploded for four more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Emma Lemire drove in a run with a single, and Brackett hit a two-out RBI double in the No. 9 hole.
"We hit the ball well," Ameen said. "A a lot of key hits, a lot of big hits in some big situations.
"Right through the whole lineup -- if they didn't hit, they played good defense. It was a good game for us."
Tart (2-for-4) drove in a run with a groundout in the fourth to make it 9-3. And Hoosac Valley put the game out of reach with a four-run sixth that featured an RBI double from Glasier.
The lightning behind it, Hoosac moves on to face the Thunder, a Berkshire County rival it has not played since the spring of 2021, when the teams split a home-and-home series.
"I haven't thought about them much yet," Ameen said as his players and families scrambled to break down the field and clear the park. "I'm sure I'll enjoy seeing [Taconic coach] Jackie Candelet. They have a good team down there, obviously, and we're looking forward to the challenge."
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